Flaxseed is a type of food that can be integrated into our diet in different ways.
It is characterized by its extensive nutritional properties, high fiber content, and for shaping a whole series of hair remedies, improving its silkiness.
Still don’t know the benefits of flaxseed? I invite you to read this post, where you will discover the most outstanding ones.
What is Flax Seed?
Flaxseed (with the scientific name Linum usitatissimum) is the seed of the flax plant. According to the references, it has its origin in ancient Egypt. However, the truth is that today it is cultivated all over the world.
Although it is now better known for its nutritional properties, the truth is that in the past, it was used to create textile garments.
It is very likely that you have heard of garments made of linen, as it was a type of material that was really easy to obtain. It was used well into the 17th century, along with wool, until it would finally be replaced by cotton and synthetics.
Properties of Flaxseed
These are the properties that stand out the most about flaxseed:
- Great source of Omega-3 fatty acids: it is estimated that it has a proportion of alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3) that exceeds 50% of its composition.
About 15 grams of seeds provide about 135% of the body’s daily requirement of this acid.
- An interesting source of vitamin B1: few foods can be found that have such a high proportion of vitamin B1.
About 15 grams of flaxseeds provide 15% of the daily requirement of this vitamin.
B vitamins are very important for maintaining the cardiovascular health of the body. They also help the nervous system to carry out its functions.
- Lignans: are polyphenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and function as phytoestrogens. They promote cell regeneration, balance the adverse effects of estrogens, and may reduce the risk of some cancers.
- “Special” fiber, containing a large amount of dietary fiber:
- Soluble fiber (20-40%), where mucilage is found, is a kind of compound that transforms into a gel when it comes into contact with water. Among other benefits, they help regulate sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Insoluble fiber (60-80), such as cellulose and lignin, favors digestion and regulates intestinal movement, promoting beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Benefits of Flax Seed
You will understand much more about how flaxseed can help you if you continue reading its main benefits:
A Good Remedy for Constipation
Many experts recommend the consumption of flaxseed to treat chronic constipation problems.
Although it is true that there is the option of laxatives, these will damage the colon in the long term, causing small appendages in this area, in the intestine, or the esophagus.
By adding about 50 grams of flaxseed per day to the diet, thanks to the contribution of the aforementioned mucilages, we will increase the intestinal mass, as well as minimize the time it takes to move through the intestine.
May Reduce Cholesterol
Some studies have concluded that flaxseed may help minimize cholesterol levels.
For example, this study had people who had high cholesterol as subjects. They were given about 30 grams of flaxseed powder on a daily basis for three months, and this contributed to a reduction of their “bad” cholesterol levels by about 20%.
Although more studies still need to be carried out, everything seems to indicate that there is a positive relationship between flaxseed consumption and a significant reduction of our bad cholesterol levels.
There are also references that it could work very well to treat some inflammatory diseases.
May Prevent the Development of Malignant Tumors
No conclusion has yet been reached on that benefit, but several lines of research are currently underway.
There are studies in which there are more than 20 compounds in flaxseed that could have anticarcinogenic properties, and this could minimize the risk of suffering from malignant tumors.
According to statistics, in those groups of people who follow a diet rich in fiber or phytoestrogens, the rates of associated tumors are quite low, especially those related to hormonal issues.
Lowers Blood Pressure
There are also studies that have determined that the consumption of 30 g of flaxseeds daily, for a period of six months, could contribute to reducing diastolic and systolic blood pressure by 7 mm/hg and 10 mm/hg, respectively.
Furthermore, there do not appear to be any contraindications in patients who are already taking blood pressure-lowering medications. In fact, in these cases, the pressure would be lowered even more.
Blood Sugar Control
Another of the most common uses of flaxseed can be found in the control of blood sugar in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
The major problem with this health disorder is that those affected have high blood sugar levels caused by the inability to synthesize insulin.
Research has concluded that the consumption of 10-20 grams of flaxseed powder in the diet of a diabetic over a 30-day period could contribute to a significant reduction in blood sugar levels ranging from 8-20%.
However, there are also other studies that have shown that there would be no relationship between flaxseed consumption and the reduction of blood sugar. You can see more information here.
Flaxseeds also have important benefits for the skin. Due to their high proportion of ferulic and acetic acid, they help us to have smoother skin, thus counteracting the proliferation of wrinkles.
One way to achieve this skin hydration is to prepare a moisturizing mask.
We can prepare a mask/cream to apply on the skin with just 2two teaspoons of powdered flax seeds, two cups of water, and a teaspoon of honey.
Simply bring the water to a boil and add the seeds and honey.
Cook over low heat until a kind of gel is created.
Wait until it cools, apply it to the face, and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Finally, rinse with warm water and use a soft towel to dry your skin.
Integrate the mask into your beauty routine, and you will notice the changes sooner than you think.
To Restore Your Hair’s Natural Shine
Not everyone knows it, but there are some masks with flaxseed that can deeply moisturize the hair.
After all, minerals, vitamins, and Omega 3 fatty acids also have a very positive effect on the hair.
With the mask that I am going to reveal below, you can improve the appearance of your hair and enhance the growth of the hair strands. It is even used in remedies to control hair loss.
All you will need is a heaping tablespoon of flax seeds and one cup of water.
Place the seeds and water in the pot until it boils. Once it reaches that point, let it boil for about five minutes.
Let it cool and use a strainer to keep only the flaxseed gel that has formed (you are not interested in the seeds).
This mask can be used as a gel for everyday use, on the scalp, and on the ends. I recommend that you apply it and let it sit overnight.
The next day, rinse with lukewarm water and show off your mane.
If you are thinking of going on a diet to lose those extra pounds, flaxseed can help you with it.
You can try adding flaxseed to your drinks so that, thanks to its satiating power, you won’t have so much anxiety when it’s time to eat.
Everything seems to indicate that this feeling of anxiety is produced due to the amount of soluble “fiber” that reaches the stomach.
Upon reaching it, some reactions are generated that allow for a reduction of your appetite.
If you find that a diet is too hard for you because you are restricting a lot of foods, do not hesitate to add flaxseed powder to your beverages.
This is one of the lesser-known properties of flaxseed.
It is considered by many sexologists as a natural aphrodisiac, ideal for both men and women:
– These seeds prevent sexual impotence in men.
– They also prevent frigidity in women.
The reason for these benefits lies in its power to “decongest” blood circulation in the arteries.
How to Eat Flax Seed
Now that you know its benefits, you may wonder how you can use flaxseed. Here are some of the best ways:
Flaxseeds are not very large, so they can be added to food without having to chop or grind them.
For example, they could be added to salads or taken a handful in the middle of the morning to control hunger.
If you store them in your refrigerator, they can last up to one year without spoiling.
You can either buy them in a powdered form directly, or you can take a certain amount of seeds and grind them with a blender.
Flaxseed powder can be more easily integrated into foods, beverages, even creams, masks, or other uses.
If you do not like the taste of flaxseed or do not know how to integrate it into your diet, a third option is to purchase flaxseed supplements.
Although it will depend on each manufacturer, one supplement per day is usually sufficient.
Finally, they also sell flaxseed oil. The taste is the same, but it does not have a grainy texture.
It is a good option if you are not too fond of the texture.
- As long as they are consumed in the recommended amounts, you should not have any problems.
- When consumption amounts are high, and it is not combined with a good amount of water, we could have symptoms such as bloating, gas, and even diarrhea.
- In very rare cases, they may cause an allergic reaction.
- Its consumption is not recommended if you are taking blood pressure medications.
- They could also produce incompatibilities with diabetes medications.
- There is some evidence that flaxseeds may have an anti-estrogenic effect. If estrogen replacement therapy is being followed, their consumption should be avoided.
- Those who have to undergo surgery should stop consuming flaxseed at least two weeks before the intervention. It could affect blood coagulation.
- It is also not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Knowing these benefits of flaxseed and its contraindications, buy it in the format you prefer and start using it.
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